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K.J. Osborn Ready for Opportunity with Patriots

New England's most recent free agent signee K.J. Osborn hopes to provide the Pats with a spark, both on the field and off it.

Patriots WR K.J. Osborn
Patriots WR K.J. Osborn

The Patriots newest receiver K.J. Osborn met virtually with the media on Wednesday, expressing his excitement to join New England as the team rounds out its receiving corps. After four years as a complementary player in Minnesota, Osborn is looking to grow his role with the Pats.

"I'm excited to show the type of player I am man," said Osborn. "You know I've played with some great players and I'm excited to get some more opportunities and be able to really help this team win."

Osborn, a 2020 fifth-round pick by the Vikings, spent his first four seasons in Minnesota, initially serving as a return ace in his rookie season before carving out a role as a slot receiver alongside superstar Justin Jefferson. Osborn posted 110 catches and 12 touchdowns in 2021 and 2022 combined but his production dipped in 2023 as the Vikings offense was decimated by injuries to their stars. Jefferson was held to just 10 games while quarterback Kirk Cousins lost for the season in Week 8.

Osborn praised the talent of his fellow receivers in Minnesota and pointed out a close relationship with Jefferson that blossomed after the duo were both selected by the Vikings.

"Me and JJ trained together for the Combine and then we ended up getting drafted to the same team, so we've kind of been able to do this journey together," said Osborn. "It's been amazing just watching him work and just the God-given ability that he has on top of his work [ethic]. Just seeing it, being able to work every day. I mean, this is JJ, I can speak on and on about all the things that he does on the field... the releases, catching the ball, it's playmaking ability. I mean, he's a great receiver."

Primarily a slot receiver, Osborn emerged in 2021 supplying big plays and clutch catches, that included a walk-off touchdown in overtime against the Panthers. He also had long scores of 64 and 62 yards during his second-season breakout. In 2022, he played a big part in Minnesota's 30-point comeback against the Colts with 157 yards on 10 receptions.

His 48 catches in 2023 would've been just one behind New England's most productive receiver from last season, DeMario Douglas, who had 49.

Now, Osborn joins a Patriots receiver room that runs nine players deep. With Kendrick Bourne recovering from offseason ACL surgery, but expected to be ready for training camp, Osborn could initially slide into a significant role until Bourne is sufficiently up to speed. Still just 26 years old but only on a one-year contract, Osborn will be looking to stand out in a position group that figures to be rife with competition.

"There's a lot of great players already in the receiver room," said Osborn of his new teammates. "I want to come in and be another help to those guys and another complement."

He'll let his conduct both on and off the field lead the way.

"I try to carry myself first class, I'm a man of faith and I try to make everybody better, on the field or off the field," said Osborn. "So just being myself man, whether that's my role or not, I guess that's what the Patriots are going to get, that's who I am. Always just trying to elevate everyone else around me. I want the best out of myself. I expect my teammates to push me in that way and I'll push them in that way and then we all come together and that's how you win games and you build a good locker room."

DISCLAIMER: The views and thoughts expressed in this article are those of the writer and don't necessarily reflect those of the organization. Read Full Disclaimer

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